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IFC Invests in Advans Cote d’Ivoire to Support Small Business Growth


In Abidjan:
Taleb Ould Sid'Ahmed
Email: touldsidahmed@worldbank.org
Tel: + 225 58 14 50 69

In Nairobi:  
Neha Sud
Email: nsud@ifc.org
Tel: +254 20 275 9441


In Washington, D.C:
John McNally
Email: JMcnally@ifc.org
Phone: +1 202 458 0723


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said today it is investing $1 million to help establish Advans Cote d’Ivoire, a microfinance instition that will support the growth of smaller businesses in Ivory Coast as the country rebuilds its economy following political unrest. The announcement came during an official visit to the country by Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The equity investment in Advans Cote d’Ivoire, which is expected to begin operations in early 2012, underscores IFC’s ability to respond rapidly to support countries in Africa recovering from policital and economic strife.

Advans Cote d’Ivoire will serve small and medium enterprises in Ivory coast that have limited or no access to formal banking services, broadening access to finance and stimulating economic growth in the country.

Claude Falgon, Manager of Advans SA SICAR, said, “Advans Côte d’Ivoire will make a significant contribution to the recovery and development of the Ivorian economy by providing quality financial services that micro, small and middle size enterprises need to grow and to create jobs.”

With IFC’s support, Advans Cote d’Ivoire expects its microfinance portfolio to reach $35 million by the end of 2017 and to disburse 100,000 loans by this time, half of them to women.

Theirry Tanoh, said, “IFC’s investment in Advans is part of our strategy for re-engagement in Cote d’Ivoire, a country emerging from a crisis that effected its political structures, as well as economic and social fabric. To aid the recovery process, IFC is committed to supporting micro, small and medium enterprises, which are vital sectors of economic activity in Cote d’Ivoire.”

IFC has a strong and long-standing partnership with the Advans group, which is building a network of microfinance institutions in developing and emerging countries. IFC has previously worked with Advans to establish microfinance institutions in Cameroon, DRC, and Ghana.  IFC’s microfinance strategy for Africa aims to increase access to finance in the poorest areas through commercially viable microfinance institutions.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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About Advans SA
Advans SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and was launched in December 2005. Its mission is to build a network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing and emerging countries to cater to the financial needs of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises, which have limited or no access to formal banking services. The Advans network currently spans six countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire. Advans MFIs serve more than 257,000 loan clients from 70 branches, and have an outstanding loan portfolio of circa EUR 64 million. Over the next three years, Advans SA plans to establish 6 to 7 new MFIs in Africa, Asia and the Middle-East. For more information, please visit www.advansgroup.com.